UNESCO-ISRAEL WAR OF WORDS OVER DECISION TO LABEL HEBRON A PALESTINIAN HERITAGE SITE
UNESCO designated the city of Hebron in the West Bank as a Palestinian heritage in danger of extinction, attracting Israel’s anger, which marked the measure “shameful” and renewed calls for President Donald Trump withdrew from United States members to the UN agency United.
The secret vote in the Polish city of Krakow has seen the Palestinian proposal go 12-3 with six abstentions. Israel, which maintains a military occupation of the city, says the text was not giving enough importance to Jewish history in Hebron.
Hebron is the only West Bank town to have its Israeli settlements, where several hundred settlers live surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
It also houses the Abraham mosque, which is supposed to be the burial of Abraham and designated by the Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Old Town, where many Palestinian houses and businesses have been closed by Israel since early 2000s.
Daily Alerts and Email – Get the Best of Newsweek Magazine Sent to Your Mailbox
The old town and mosque will be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list and the World Heritage Committee will meet annually to examine its status.
Palestinians welcomed UNESCO’s decision to push its diplomatic strategy intifada or uprising, persuade the international community that the Palestinians need their own sovereign state in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
“We use our rights as Palestinians. We do not decide for violence, we decide to go only by political and diplomatic means,” Majdi Khaldi, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Newsweek said by telephone.
“These are the tools and resources we can use to exercise our rights and to protect the rights of our people.”
But for the Israelis, the decision is the one that promotes Arab demands to the city in relation to those of the Jews. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that “Hebron Jewish ties are stronger than the shameful vote of UNESCO,” while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in a West Bank colony, called the decision ” a shame”.
The Sacred Site of Hebron
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man emerges from the tomb of the Patriarchs, known in Arabic as Abraham’s mosque in the ash city of Hebron, West Bank, May 29, 2017.
The religious site, next to the contest in its history, is known for an infamous shot in 1994 by Baruch Goldstein, a far-right member of the Kach movement now banned. When the Palestinians gathered to pray, Goldstein opened fire on the compound, killing 29 people, including children. Survivors have beaten to death after being overwhelmed.
The United States and Israel pressed the U.N to cancel the vote. Nikki Haley U.N. Ambassador of the United Nations sent a letter to the officials of the U.N., the head of Irini Bokova, and the secretary general of U.N. Antonio Guterres, inviting them to oppose the movement.
Israeli officials such as Michael Oren, Deputy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Trump administration to completely quit UNESCO, and members of the Hebron Jewish community reiterated that the request Friday Israel’s historic ally.
“We call on the international community and the Trump administration completely outside UNESCO,” said Yishai Fleischer, international spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron, telling the UN that the United States does not want this international body to be abducted by Palestinians, Told Newsweek telephone.